Why You Don’t Need to Workout Your Abs Every Day

Posted on January 28, 2015 at 12:58 am by

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get as a trainer: “How do I get abs?” My clients then proceed to tell me that they workout their abs pretty much every day but aren’t seeing the progress that they want. Wanna hear my little secret? Don’t workout your abs every day.

Why You Don't Need to Workout Your Abs Every Day

It’s no secret that I believe that having “abs” comes from eating whole, healthy nutritious foods as well as having a balanced training plan.

My Ab Tips:

  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush your system out and staying hydrated gives people that “ab cut” they’re so obsessed with having. It seems backwards but drinking enough water actually helps keep your body from retaining water.
  • Eat as clean as possible (not sure what that means? Read this.) I’ve made it clear that I believe that what you eat is responsible for a HUGE part of your physique. Food is fuel for you body/muscles. If you eat junk, chances are you’re going to look and feel like junk, too.
  • Include complex exercises in your workouts that incorporate core. Most complex moves (such as burpees, dumbbell thrusters, lunges, etc) all engage your core, which means you’re working your ab muscles more than you think. You’re not necessarily specifically targeting them every day, but they are definitely working during your other workouts.
  • Work the entire core. People tend to get stuck in a “I must do tons of crunches” rut. Guess what? I NEVER do crunches. Like ever. They only really target your abs (rectus abdominus) and I like to do moves that target my ENTIRE core. What is your entire core? Your abs, yes. But it also includes your back and even your glutes. When you hear a trainer say, “Engage your core,” they don’t just mean your abs. Picture it like this: If you’re standing up and you took a roll of plastic wrap and wrapped it around your abs and your back…that is your core. It’s a 360* thing…not just your front. Planks are my FAVORITE core exercise.
  • Target your abs 1-2 times per week. Just like any other muscle group, I target my abs 1-2 times per week. I make those 1 or 2 workouts intense and effective and it’s plenty.

Why You Shouldn’t Workout Your Abs Every Day:

  • It can lead to posture problems. Constantly working your ab muscles causes them to tighten and shorten. This can lead to a hunchback…ummm PASS. When you sit in a chair at a computer all day you tend to hunch forward right? Well the same thing happens when you work your abs 24/7, because you’re strengthening the front side of your body, but not the back.
  • Muscle imbalances can become an issue. If you focus on training your abs every day they’re probably going to get way stronger than other muscles in your body, which leads to muscle imbalances. If your rectus abdominus is way stronger than other parts of your core then you’re more likely to get injured.
  • It leaves no time for your muscles to repair. We don’t workout legs or arms or back every day right? That’s because the muscles need time to repair and rejuvenate. We need to give our abs the same treatment.
  • It’s inefficient. Working out your abs intensely 1-2 times per week is going to be more efficient than working them out every day.

So please…stop crunching your life away! Let’s work our abs the right way, y’all!

xo, Jess

 

 

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